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chicken with cheese sauce
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Four Cheese Sauce

Four cheese pasta is a delicious and easy pasta dish made with 4 types of cheese, tender chicken, and broccoli. The cheese sauce is creamy, cheesy, and bold-tasting with a hint of garlic and lemon juice. You may think of it as an Italian answer to mac and cheese!
Course Main Course
Cuisine international, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 728kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

for the pasta:

  • 1 lb (450g) chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons flour optional
  • 2 tablespoons frying oil
  • ½ head broccoli
  • 8 ½ oz (240g) fusilli (spirals) pasta about 3 cups uncooked pasta

for the four cheese sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ cup gorgonzola cheese 3.5oz/100g, I used gorgonzola dolce
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 1½oz/45g, grated on the small holes of a box grater
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese 3.5oz/100g, grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • ½ cup cream cheese 3.5oz/100g
  • ¾ cup milk 120ml
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

to garnish (optional):

  • toasted flaked almonds
  • chopped parsley
  • grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Prepare all the ingredients: divide the broccoli into florets, cut the chicken breast into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes, chop the garlic very finely, grate the mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • Cook the pasta and broccoli: Cook the pasta al dente (it should have a bite to it) and steam (or cook) the broccoli. I like to cook the pasta in a pot and steam the broccoli in a sieve above the pot (see the photos in the post). So there's a pot with pasta, a sieve with broccoli florets hung above the pot, and all of that is covered with a lid. Fusilli pasta, that I have used, needs to be cooked for 10 minutes and the broccoli needs to be steamed for 8 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, cook the chicken and prepare the sauce.
  • Cook the chicken: Season the chicken with salt and pepper and toss with flour. Heat the oil over high heat in a big frying pan. Once hot, add the chicken pieces in an even layer. Don't stir for the first 2 minutes (to let the chicken brown), then cook, stirring until the chicken is cooked through (no longer pink inside). Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • Make the cheese sauce: Add the butter to the pan, when it's sizzling add finely chopped garlic, dry basil, and onion powder and cook, stirring, over medium heat for a minute.
  • Add all 4 kinds of cheese and milk to the pan and cook until the cheeses are melted and the sauce has thickened (if it's too runny, just cook it a little longer, stirring from time to time). Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  • Assemble: Add the chicken back to the pan, add the cooked pasta and steamed broccoli. Stir everything together. Season a little more with salt, pepper and lemon juice, if necessary.
  • You can garnish the dish with grated parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and toasted flaked almonds, if you wish.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • If not using flour, add just 1/2 cup of milk.
  • Cheese - you can use other cheese varieties, just make sure to add both creamy and strongly tasting kinds of cheeses. Other types of cheese that would work: pecorino, fontina, gruyere, provolone, taleggio, or blue cheese. 
  • You can omit the chicken completely to make it vegetarian.
  • What you could also add - instead of broccoli, kale, sauteed zucchini, or spinach would also work great.
  • You can completely omit the chicken and broccoli and serve this cheesy sauce pasta as a side dish with steak or pan-fried chicken breast or fish.
  • Instead of pasta, you can serve the cheese sauce with potato gnocchi.
  • Calories count = 1 serving (1/4 of the recipe, this is only an estimate!).

Nutrition

Calories: 728kcal